“How about it everyone? Should we go with this? Is that a yes?” The handsome and slightly adorable young man held his microphone out to the audience, his smile exuding youthful energy and innocence.
The TV host was a charming young man no matter how one looked at him. His energy excited the audience and inspired affection from everyone, whether they were young or old, male or female.
“Yes!” A spontaneous shout rang out in reply across the studio, reverberating around the room. Everyone on stage could feel the audience’s love for the young host.
A singer and a TV host, Chen Ming Xu was one of the most popular idols of the day.
“Alright! Next week, we will have a phone-call activity. I wonder what big-name celebrities our guests will call? All of us are surely very interested in finding out.” Chen Ming Xu gave a charming smile and glanced towards the man sitting inconspicuously at the back as he added, “Especially Tang Feng, our senior in the business. You’ve been in this industry for quite some time now. Surely you must know many famous celebrities?”
“Hahaha! Tang Feng debuted very early on and was actually quite popular back then. I’m sure he knows many important people. Not to mention, he debuted in the same idol group as Ge Chen! I wonder if he’s preparing a surprise for us next week and planning to call Ge Chen? I’m Ge Chen’s super-fan, you know!”A third-rate female star sitting nearby played along with the host’s words and wondered out loud.
“Ge Chen is extremely popular and busy right now. Where would he find the time to attend a show like ours? Tang Feng, don’t let us down!” Another third-rate male celebrity added in a teasing tone to heighten the excitement. A number of people started laughing at the man’s words, as if they already knew that calling Ge Chen would be impossible for Tang Feng next week.
Even if Tang Feng had known Ge Chen in the past, they now belonged to different worlds. The former still got teased regularly on variety shows and was scrambling about trying to survive in the industry. Yet Ge Chen had already become a top star. Their positions were clearly very different.
Of course, that was before.
Tang Feng smiled casually at the camera. “Just don’t be too surprised next week!”
The audience laughed at his playful voice.
The recording was already over, yet Chen Ming Xu was still chatting with audience members below. No matter how one examined him, he was exactly as people described him to be, a polite young man who was approachable and likable.
“Why does he keep picking on you?” Xiao Yu muttered in abhorrence, “There were so many people on stage, yet he only picks on you. It’s as though he has a personal grudge against you. Every time you come here, he tries to ridicule you. Even though he’s nothing more than an idol himself!”
“Alright, don’t say such things on set. Let’s go back.” If he got angry at every single person who disliked him, then he’d probably be angered to death. Then again, Tang Feng truly wasn’t sure why Chen Ming Xu kept pestering him. Every time he came for a recording, Chen Ming Xu always tried to embarrass him in front of the audience.
Thanks to Chen Ming Xu’s incessant pestering however, there were always a few shots of Tang Feng in each episode. Tang Feng chuckled silently to himself at this. In any case, next week would be his last appearance on the show.
“Tang Feng, will you be able to contact Ge Chen next week?” Xiao Yu asked as she walked beside him.
Ge Chen… Tang Feng paused in his tracks and smiled. “He’s a big star now. It wouldn’t be appropriate for him to appear in a show like this, right? The production team just wants me to embarrass myself next week. So, there’s no need to take their words to heart. It will be fine if I just call some of the newcomers in the company.”
“Tang Feng, actually Ge Chen is also filming a show at this TV station today,” Xiao Yu mumbled quietly.
“I will handle this matter. Since there’s nothing scheduled for the afternoon, I’ll take my leave now. Call me if anything comes up,” Tang Feng said as he walked.
“Mm… okay. Good luck. Don’t overwork yourself.” Knowing that Tang Feng was always very self-assertive, Xiao Yu stopped at just that.
“Tang Feng, do you need me to give you a ride?” Xiao Yu asked as they waited for the elevator.
Tang Feng shook his head and replied, “No need. I can go back by myself.” It had already been a few days since he had started living at Lu Tian Chen’s place. He didn’t know if Lu Tian Chen had found an apartment for him yet. He didn’t mind the delay particularly, as he was pretty satisfied living at Lu Tian Chen’s house. Speaking of which, Lu Tian Chen was the boss and he was the employee, yet amusingly, he was the one that got up around 9 or 10 whereas Lu Tian Chen had to wake up early for work every day.
The elevator doors opened. When Tang Feng and Xiao Yu were about to step in, a group of people moved to step out. Among the group were a couple of assistants like Xiao Yu. The man standing in the middle, however, was clearly different. He was a man with an outstanding aura. He was the moon, while the people escorting him were tiny stars that revolved around him.
The moment the elevator doors opened, both parties stopped in their tracks.
No one dared to speak. The rather indifferent man inside the elevator stared out at Tang Feng. He was silent, but his gaze was like a nail being hammered forcefully on Tang Feng’s body.
Neither Tang Feng nor Xiao Yu had expected to meet Ge Chen in this kind of situation. They’d heard that the latter had just returned from filming a movie in South Korea. If he was here at the TV station today, then it was probably to promote his movie.
“Hello Ge Chen.” Tang Feng greeted the man with a smile.
Xiao Yu peeked over at Ge Chen. Boldly, she blurted out, “Hello Mr. Ge. We were just about to contact you!” Not wanting Tang Feng to stop her, Xiao Yu shot out her words like a machine gun. She told Ge Chen all that had happened on set earlier.
“It’s only a phone call. If Mr. Ge has time…” Xiao Yu added.
“I’ll consider it.” Ge Chen’s voice was exceptionally cold. He glanced indifferently at Tang Feng. “You’re still attending those inane shows?” He asked ill-humoredly.
“Those inane shows are actually rather interesting.” Tang Feng walked into the elevator, a natural smile still on his face. He turned a deaf ear towards Ge Chen’s hostile words. Only Xiao Yu looked with surprise at Ge Chen, who was as usual clad in white like an angel. Now though, she no longer found him to be celestial in any way.
Originally, she had thought Ge Chen would agree no matter what because of the collaboration between their two agencies as well as his shared past with Tang Feng. Everyone regarded Ge Chen as a good person who was friendly, but now, Xiao Yu couldn’t see it at all.
Recalling all that she had just revealed, Xiao Yu’s face reddened immediately. She had embarrassed Tang Feng!
“Isn’t Ge Chen about to go and record on a TV show as well?” This wasn’t the time for her to be in a daze. Xiao Yu quickly rebutted.
“The show our Ge Chen is going to appear on is a serious talk show.” Ge Chen’s assistant wasn’t a pushover either.
Seeing that the tension was thickening, Tang Feng hurriedly pulled Xiao Yu over to him and pressed a button on the elevator. “Are you all stepping out or coming down with us?”
Ge Chen’s entourage glared at Tang Feng while escorting Ge Chen out of the elevator. One of them cursed as they left, “Aren’t you just an outdated cheap whore? I heard you got dumped recently. How pitiful.”
“You—” Xiao Yu rolled her sleeves up, about to rush out, but Tang Feng quickly pulled her back.
Luckily, the elevator doors closed just then. Tang Feng shook his head at Xiao Yu. “Silly girl. I have plenty of people cursing at me in this world. Do you plan on fighting every one of them?”
“How can I just stand there and let them say those kinds of things about you!” Xiao Yu was furious.
Back when he was young, Tang Feng definitely wouldn’t have been able to stand still while someone cursed at him. He would’ve done anything to exact justice. Now, he didn’t know whether it was because he had become desensitized, or that he’d matured and understood fighting didn’t bring about any results, but Tang Feng had become apathetic to the lies and slanders he often heard about himself.
The more successful one became, the more one would be embroiled in controversies. However, only by enduring harsh criticisms could one enjoy the great recognition that followed.
A celebrity’s reputation and success came largely from the love and support they received from the public. At the same time, they would also receive insults and attacks from another portion of the public. This was characteristic of the entertainment industry. If one didn’t even have the ability to endure some insults, then what right did one have to be a star in the limelight?
“We can’t control what comes out of their mouths. When someone puts you down, there’s no need to argue with them. You only need to do well in your own work and let your actions prove them wrong. Xiao Yu, don’t you think so as well?” Tang Feng smiled at her.
Xiao Yu sighed and replied, “I’m your manager, but I feel so naïve after hearing you.”
If you compare yourself to someone who has struggled in this industry for decades, then you certainly are naïve.
After saying goodbye to each other, Tang Feng took a taxi back to Lu Tian Chen’s place. His schedule had started getting busier lately. The “True Star Training Class” was officially starting the day after tomorrow. He would be attending under the identity of a newcomer.
Throughout his entire career, Tang Feng had actually never received any sort of formal training in acting. In his earlier years, he had mostly played extras in movies. Working his way up, he was first nominated for the Best Actor award at the age of twenty-seven. At thirty-three, he fulfilled his wish and brought home the honor of Best Actor. He was both curious and interested in attending a training class at this age.
Proofreaders: Nannyn, KN